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-- watergate. thanks for being here on booktv at the national book festival. >> up next on booktv. after words with democracy's now, amy goodman. this week, marguerite boo vard. she explores the battles military person until miss fight when they return home from combat. she discusses high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder and veteran reintegration in society. >> ready to start? march -- miss bouvard, a pleasure to speak with you today. >>. >> guest: my pleasure. >> host: invisible wounds of war, coming home from iraq and afghanistan, what a relevant time to talk about this. n july, the highest rate of suicide that the military has ever seen.
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38 soldiers took their own lives. more casualties than in the battlefield. more than one a day. this is precisely the topic you take on in the, the "the invisible wounds of war". talk about it. >> guest: first of all, only 1% of our population over 18 is in the army. it is a volume steer army. which -- volunteer army. which means they don't have enough soldiers. they're stretched thin. they have too many deployments. usually you need two years between deployments. some of them get a year, nine months. at the most and they redeploy when soldiers are having problems with combat stress, they redeploy. >> host: it is interesting, one of the trend they found is that, increasingly older
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soldiers are taking their own lives. and we're not even talking about veterans right now. >> guest: well, i'll tell you why. because since it is a volunteer army. since we're stretched so thin, they are calling upon the national guard. okay, now the national guard, they have civilian jobs. they have children and wives. their child may be in high school. instead of going once a month to do what you do and take care of the problems in the united states, you're being demarked for identification. -- deployed to afghanistan or iraq. so they are less prepared for what they see and again, would you like me to tell you something about the kind of scene they have in combat? >> host: what do they say? >> guest: well they face a number of things and one of the things that they face there is no front line. they don't know who the enemy is. they have no idea.
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and, they may be in a crowd where people are standing together talking, and okay, they're speaking in another language, and they say one thing and they will tell us we're so glad to here to help us and the other language is something else. all of a sudden, boom, it is a person in the crowd, may even be a child, that you least expect. so that's one. there's a language problem. again, another issue of the language problem is, a car drives by and a soldier on patrol says, stop. well, do you understand stop in arabic? no. so the car goes on. the soldier, is required of him, shoot, through the car window. open the door, finds a woman and a couple of kids dead and starts to cry. how do you feel?
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guilty? miserable? so that's one side, you don't know who the enemy is, where he is because they not only have improvised explosive devices but they have something called house-borne improvised explosive devices. so you may be in a house, searching the house and boom. and there's one buddy carrying another one down the stairs dead, with blood running down his back. very stressful. very stressful. >> host: marguerite, you talk about one man named noah peers. >> guest: noah charles pierce. >> host: noah charles pierce. you talk about his story. why you got involved in his case. >> guest: i'm a writer. i sometimes write short stories and poems.
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i had a story in a magazine, i had couple of poems from a soldier who committed suicide. it blew me away, a soldier is committing suicide? and i thought about it and i asked the editor, could you put me in touch with his mother? he said, not really. it is privacy. i said please. well, i finally got in touch what was his stepmother who put me in touch with his real mother. i called her. we talked a lot. she did a lot of crying. she is a wonderful woman, wonderful woman. so he decided to write an article about her. after i wrote the article, was really unnerved by thinking of a young man who had done, a wonderful job as a soldier. >> host: two tours of duty in iraq. >> guest: yeah. committing suicide. i said, this is not right. i want to know more. i began to do a lot of research and decided,
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because one of my passion in writing is a human rights. for me this is a human rights book. so i started doing a tremendous amount of research on both wars in iraq and afghanistan and also on our veterans and their families because who thinks of cheryl, noah's mother, and how she feels right now, you know? she says i died too in a way. she did. she talked about the way noah came back and noah had 30 to 90-days in which he could get help. what did they give him? sleeping pills. you give a young man sleeping pills who is under tremendous stress, has nightmares hallucinations. and how difficult it is to come back from a war situation where you're working 24/7, you don't
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sleep well. you keep hearing the i.e. dids and the efps, explosively formed projectiles and rocket-propelled grenades. and all the time and you keep seeing dead bodies. you're walking over dead bodies. you're carrying parts of your buddy's body. then you come back and people say, gee, i lost my keys. i'm so stress, i can't find my keys and there's this, you feel like an alien. nobody knows what you've been through. nobody cares. it is a volunteer army. had we had a draft we would be out of afghanistan. >> host: because? >> guest: because, the country would be concern and involved, and it's not. 1%, while 99% go shopping and watch tv. >> host: you talk about the
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story of jeff lucy and his parents, kevin and joyce in western massachusetts. i remember meeting them, oh, it was two democratic conventions ago in boston. that's when they first, right around the time that they first lost their son, because, he didn't commit suicide on the battlefield of iraq or afghanistan. >> guest: no. >> host: but when he came home. >> guest: that is a whole other issue when veterans come home. they have to readjust. they miss their buddies. they come home numb because you have to be working constantly in many could bat. you can never allow yourself anytime, and is there anytime for mourning? one vet told me they had so many fatalities, instead of a having a service every time, it was tuesdays and fridays with a bunch of of
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them. so you don't have time to mourn when you lose a buddy or time to feel terrible, when you she children, dead bodies of children, or a time to feel anger. for me, there is tremendous, intertwining of anger and grief which people don't realize, if you're in a military culture, anger is more acceptable than sorrow. you're not supposed to feel sad. we don't even have the word sadness in -- but sadness. so here comes this young man, jeff changed. he is not the jeff used to be. his parents don't understand. and like most veterans they are in terrible pain. they have nightmares. so what do they do? they drink, or they take drugs. because it takes away the pain. and, okay, let's think about the health care that jeff
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got. the va does not do dual diagnosis. so here's poor jeff, he is having suicidal thoughts. his parents don't know because they didn't tell his parents. and because he was heavy on alcohol, he was drinking a lot of beer, we can't treat you. we can't do -- they didn't say they don't do dual diagnosis. when he gets off alcohol we can treat him. that is no way to treat a veteran that comes home in terrible pain. and beyond jeff's story they are, because of the constant deployments they're taking sleeping pills. they're taking percocet. they're taking oxycontin. these are very dangerous drugs. >> host: and addictive. >> guest: and addictive. without a medical being overseen when they are overseas. when they come home they go to a physician, va physician,
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sleeping pills. >> host: in jeff's case they desperately tried to get him help. they didn't really understand post-traumatic stress disorder at the time. his grandfather took him to the hospital. they tried to get him committed. >> guest: right. >> host: ultimately, it was his father coming home from work one day. >> guest: right. >> host: who finds jeff in the basement, hanging, from as into. >> guest: right. because there is a different frame of reference between veterans. veteran needs to talk with other veterans and being in a group of veterans. one veteran said when i meet a veteran it is instant friendship. i can't talk to anybody in the civilian world. it is not only the language and frame of reference and experience that is very difficult to share. my daughter-in-law's brother is a colonel and he, he apologized for having
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ringing in his ears when we talk on the phone. there's differences between the military and civilian culture. if you complain, if you say, you go for help, i may not get promoted. i may get demoted. i may you know. there is a different, one vet wrote we not only need more physicians and psychologists and social workers, we need to change the organization and the attitude towards soldiers. >> host: you know, at the same time that we're dealing with this suicide epemdid mick in the military, july being just the worst month. >> guest: right. >> host: you also have the issue of rapes in the military. you tell the story of suzanne swift and her mother. sara rich. >> guest: right.
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>> host: tell us what happened to suzanne. >> guest: well, suzanne from the time, first of all, she was courted by the military. they kept calling her and calling her. a lot of these folks are part of military families anyway and treating her well and promising her she won't get deployed, so her mother was proud of her. the minute she is deployed to iraq, the guy above her says, let's just have a date together. let's be together. she said what? what do you mean? he said let's not tell anybody. just you and me. and he kept after her for months. she kept calling her mother, and sometimes you can call, sometimes you can't. not always overseas it is not always possible. she didn't you can talk about the war. she was talking about the man wanting to make love with her and forcing himself upon her physically, he raped her frankly, the way i say it.
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and what can she do about it, in order to prevent her from, from, saying anything he mader do, 100 pushups. gave her a clock. she finally threw it in his face. >> host: he made her wear a wall clock around her neck because she came late to roll call, because she was so upset being raped by him. >> guest: yes. in addition to raep, there is the harass mane to keep silent. and they did set up an organization, not for suzanne but she was afraid to go back when she came home. she was packed to go back and she just couldn't face it. she said this is going to happen to me again. it's hell. i don't want to live like this. so suzanne went awol. and, hid out for a while. and finally, finally she gave herself up. she, this is insane, is that, on the one hand she's proud
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to be in the army, proud of what she's done, on the other hand she is scared to be there and doesn't want to be harassed and sexually abused. and they did set up a program but, you know it is not very helpful. and, i think women that complain, within woman complained and said i can't take any notes. just tell me this orally. so only a small percentage of women that complain about being raped get anywhere, because it is commander and one above him, they're all above, and they don't get a chance. >> host: whether we're talking about noah's mother, noah committing suicide, or sarah rich, whose daughter suzanne was raped in the military or the lucies and their son jeff, you talk about these remarkable parents who stand up for their children. >> guest: right. right. you know, when people think of a war and they think of soldiers, they forget about
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the family. they forget about the wives. they forget about the children. they forget about the mothers and fathers. and one father i interviewed, tim caylor, he said i'm having secondary ptsd. i'm worried sick about ryan. he showed me and in the book, there is a diary of ryan, cleaning out the re -- cleaning up the remains of a friend from a humvee. he said, i don't know what will happen to him. i've become a media whore because nobody is listening to me at the va. he is not getting help he needs. and i don't know what he is going to do. one day he is up. one day he is down. will he commit see sued? will he not? he got him to a health clinic. he went at night so he wouldn't be in traffic. this is from war. you're afraid someone coming towards you. he saw a accident, was on the phone for two hours with
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his father to make his father persuade him to come back. this father is feeling hosch. he doesn't know what will happen to his son. cheryl felt this was not my son anymore. they killed him inside. i don't recognize him. i love him dearly. i don't recognize him. i don't know what i can do to help. so the fathers are on the front line. the wives are on the front line. a mother is afraid, so what if the doorbell rings and they're telling me my son died? and a child goes to school, she's the only military child, she's in grammar school sayings, oh, your daddy is in the army, he's going to die. we're totally disconnected from, not only the soldiers, but their mothers, their fathers, their siblings and their children. it is a family that is at war. >> host: it made me think about an earlier book you
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wrote, marguerite, the latest, the invisible wounds of war. before that, revolutionizing motherhood, mothers of the plaza in argentina. >> guest: right. >> host: do you see similarities? explain who those mothers are. >> guest: i do see similarities, great similarities. those mothers at the time of the hunt at that zook -- giunta took over and there was a military regime and there were 365 concentration camps and disappearing people. they did it on purpose to say everyone is fine. there is nothing wrong. what anger can do to you. there is anger that wants to hurt someone and and there is anger that gives you courage, which is what i learned from them and i was afraid because we were surrounded by security police. here comes a group of mothers. one child was a doctor, a
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lawyer, a pregnant daughter. and they're looking for their children and they need each other. they form a group of women and they said, how do we identify ourselves? they said, how about a diaper or a a baby shawl? so they put a white scarf on with their child's name on the back. they start to demonstrate. the police go after them. they say we'll demonstrate at another time they won't expect it. so they change the date and time of the demonstration constantly. then the police tries to arrest three of them. 60 of them come and said, you take three, you will have 60. the police say oh god, let them go. so here, women can be very powerful. motherhood is a very important role that people tend to downplay. and an angry mother is, very
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powerful. very powerful. and, cheryl is an angry mother. she wrote a letter to every member of congress saying you've got to have at least one year where a soldier can get mental and physical health. and if he needs more than a year, let him get more than a year. and, these mothers start speaking out. and one of the mothers i interviewed, she puts on her doorstep, on the door of her house every day, how many died. every
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to get them out of their lives. to get them into other people's lives. they say there is something very wrong here that we need to talk about. so, you know, mothers can be very powerful. >> host: i wanted to ask you about a controversy earlier this summer that involved major general, a commander in fort bliss. in may he wrote in his blog quote i'm personally fed up with soldiers choosing to take their own lives so mothers can clean up their own mess. be an adult. act like an adult. deal with real life problems like the rest of us. the posting was retracted but major general pitard
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never apologized. he still commands one. army's largest units. what is the significance? do you think that is the the general attitude towards those who are suffering? >> guest: yes. there was one soldier that told his commander he was in combat, he said, i just can't do it. i need three days off. i just can't do it. and his commander said, you go right back in there and you get to work. and i shot himself. you know there is, different values in the military and the civilian culture. if you display any kind of vulnerability, and we're all vulnerable, everyone is, you're considered weak, you're considered a wimp and you're supposed to be strong and brave. well these mothers are strong and brave. they lost more than any of us can even bear to think about. think about losing your own child? they're brave.
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>> host: so there's --. >> guest: you can be vulnerable and brave. you can be sad and strong. this is something the military doesn't understand. you can have sorrow, and be strong. you can be vulnerable and i'll. and you can be strong. >> host: you talk about organizations. for example of women in argentina, the mothers of the plaza. how about here in had country? you write about military families that speak out. >> guest: one, i did write a book about women and human rights and there is a group that i met, that i just thought was wonderful, and they were called the mothers of east los angeles and they lived in, you know, in a very bad neighborhood, very dangerous. so, this is how they started. when they saw a drug dealer out, they would all call each other, all the way down the line, they would all go out. all they went out on the
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lawn, all of sudden there were all these mothers. out goes the drug dealer. so they decided to form an organization. and then the los angeles government was going to put a trash burner right in front of the school that the kids were going. they said, no way. so they started to march. there were, you know, several hundred of them. they were marching. okay. the trash didn't come. one after another, this incident, the mothers got together. they said let's do it. and you know, they marched. they cleaned up the area where they lived. they did wonderful things. and these were hispanic women. and we don't have a very good opinion of hispanic women. why, i do not know. >> host: i mean i think that different populations may have their prejudices but --. >> guest: these were wonderful women. >> host: right. i mean populations may have
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prejudices against other groups of people. immigrants have a hard time in this country. >> guest: i know. i'm an immigrant. jeez, everybody is an immigrant. >> host: where did you come from? >> guest: i came from italy when i was very young, northern italy. >> host: so when you come to this country and see the whole debate about immigrants and have the experience dealing with latino women of los angeles, what are your thoughts? >> guest: my thoughts are this is a big country and there is room for everybody. i also think on a personal level we're on this earth to celebrate diversity, not to hate each other but to respect each other. >> host: you feature in the invisible wounds of war, the poems of brian turner. explain who he is. >> guest: brian turner, he comes from a military family and as in all families whether it is a police family or a fireman or a professor, he decided to join the army, and, he was
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majoring in literature in college. and thinking about writing. and. he went to iraq. he had a totally, he refers to himself as a witness. he wrote two wonderful books of poems, one called, here bullet, and another, phantom noise. it was about his experience in the war. they both won awards. they both had a magazine. we spoke on the phone. i have did interview him. i got permission to use his poems. i thought it would be very interesting to see about a soldier who is writing about what happens. even more important about brian turner, in his second book, "a fapt tom noise", which i prefer, he shows
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understanding and compassion for the iraqi population. beautiful. in front of every poem there is a something from a iraqi philosopher and poet. he is not only telling the world what happens through poetry, he is also opening us up to another culture. now he is reading his poems at west point. >> host: would you like to a read a poem of brian turner's? >> guest: i think he is wonderful. >> host: so you've interspersed the invisible wounds of war with his poetry? >> guest: i have. i put a poem in front of, well this one is about sexual abuse. do you want that one? >> host: sure. >> guest: and it's called. one in three females will experience sexual assault while serving in the military.
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she hides under a duece 1/2 this time. sleeping on a roll of foam, draped in mosquito netting, sand flies hover throughout the night. she sleeps under vehicle exhaust around heat. dreaming of mortars buried beside her. three stripes painted on a cold tube. rack of yellow hung below. it is you she is dreaming of sergeant. she will dream of you for years to come. if she makes it out of this country alive, which she probably will, you will be the fire and the hovering. not the sniper, not the bomber in the streets. you. so i'm here to ask this one night's reprieve. let her sleep tonight. let her sleep.
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pause a moment. under the moon. the gem your wife sent you in colored mint green disis good in a -- disguised in a bottle of mouthwash. take a long swig of it. let it blur your vision into a tremor of light. the explosion in the distance. i'm not your own. and in these long hours before dawn, on the banks of the tigris river, let her sleep. it is her dream. your eyes are pools of rifle oil. you unsheath the bayonet from its scabbard while she waits. on a mattress of san and foam, there, in the mortar pool she waits to kiss bullets into your mouth.
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pretty powerful poet. >> host: brian turner, who you quoted. >> guest: brian turner is very, very needed and, he has the, what makes him so important, in the military world, is that he served in the military. and reading these portfolio managers, and the -- poems and rest are about war and one is about, i don't have it in here and phantom noise is about an iraqi man who is child died. and a elogy for the child. it tells us these people are human that we're fighting. their children die. >> host: that is part of the invisible wounds of war, not only are the u.s. soldiers who suffer there and come home and suffer here but, whole populations.
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afghanistan and iraq who are suffering posttraumatic stress disorder. >> guest: terrible, terrible. i, had for dinner one young iraqi -- my niece is a dine of simmons and she was outraged at what happened and she went to jordan to help the librarians in the museums. brought over two young iraqis to get a ph.d. i had one for dinner. fala, who i'm very fond of. and as in arab culture whenever he comes over he brings me a gift and puts his hand over his heart. and he told me, that his sister lost her husband and every single one of her children. so she's alone. that was just, that was extraordinarily, how can you live and lose everyone that you love. . .
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written by a soldier about combat and she was struck. she was thinking, i've got to do something about this. and someone in the audience asked her, is your son a soldier? she said there are no children. that just came out of her. scioscia started an extraordinary project. she was a psychiatrist.
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her has been set at injury tire? why did she retire? so what she's done is there a psychiatrist all of the country who get free counseling to every member of the family. and the other family members need counseling. and she has conferences. and in these conferences, she invites a psychiatrist. she invited a congressperson who is very interested in veterans. she is special for women, which they could do a play, they talk about what it's like to be a female soldier. and so, she's having conferences. she's making sure that people get free psychiatric help around the country. i think what it shows is that were not hopeless, were not powerless. every small act can be a great
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act because it helps a few people. if you help a few people, you help the world. there are more and more psychiatrist who would find a. jonathan shay is a very well known psychiatrist who deals with veterans came to speak. this is what one woman can do. >> host: how lost you bridge the chasm as you wrap up your book? >> guest: well, then there's dr. herbert bendel who was getting free psychological counseling. she went even further. i'm how she does it. she only has a handful of people helping her. half of them are veterans, which is more than helpful. so she sent to more than psychology. she said we need to find the soldiers jobs. we need to deal with employment. this is a big issue.
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they come back and they are highly killed, but where can their skill set and? how can i get a civilian job? this user could individual communities to see if they'll give money. but can you do for the people in your community. she even had a night at school, where children could learn about the military culture. she's amazing. so here again is one person. >> host: what grade would you give the u.s. military, the pentagon, demented untried administration and how they are dealing with these wounded warriors? >> very low-grade. they do a number of things that are correct that i didn't put in the book. one is the way time until you get help. there's a lot of paperwork. they get tired or they don't have money. you have to wait too long to get
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help. if you wait too long, you commit suicide. they will put in their computers date they saw them as the date that they actually asked for. and so they say publicly that had a 90% rate of responding to veterans. they don't. i would say a 40%. so they are not equipped to deal with the millions of people coming home that are traumatized, one dead, upset. they are not dealing with them all. >> host: as we wrap up, marguerite, and palaces for change to? the writing of this book, how did it change you? >> guest: it changed me enormously. see i didn't know much about the military and i was an antiwar activist when i was yelling.
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and now i think, it's the soldiers that we need to worry about. and so, i didn't want to make this an antiwar vote because i wanted to be for everyone. and i want everyone to think that it's perfectly possible to do something for a military family that you may know. and i am in touch with the young military that continually. i talked to her. we talk on the phone. i got her -- i found her a psychiatrist that i sent her to. she knows i'm with her. so is that so hard to deal? is that so hard to do, to pick up the phone and listen. listening is a not. you need to put yourself in someone else's life and to listen with your heart.
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postcode would you consider the audience for your vote? >> guest: i hope more to military families. i hope more people read it. i did get a review of the book from a woman who was outraged. she wasn't from a military family ranches that this is morally wrong. if more than one person says is morally wrong is not a military family, i would be thrilled. postcode and what are you working on now? >> guest: at a market on a new book of poems, which is full of politics as always. i would like to write about the period i am editing a book, which i included shop terra about mothers of adult children. whether we deal with drug abuse, autism, dealing with murder you for dealing with all kinds of things people don't want to
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hear. >> host: well, marguerite guzman bouvard, i went to cheney met very much for doing this interview and writing "the invisible wounds of war: coming home from iraq and afghanistan." >> guest: thank you so much for having me here. i am so appreciative. >> balustrade one, booktv signature program which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by policymakers, legislators and others familiar with their material. ext
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>> our next author interview and the studio is basketball players kareem abdul-jabbar his latest book is a children's book. "what color is my world?: the lost history of african-american inventors." tell me about this project. >> guest: well, it was a bookec. that i did in 1996, which was an overview of black history in ama america. and then one of the chapters wrote, i focused on lewis howard let them are. in checking out what different inventors did in the 19th century, it really made me aware of the fact that there were a lot of black inventors that
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people didn't know anything about. so i got this idea from that experience. i figured i would do a book on inventors related to children, because there are so many children who are not aware of these things. >> today's children seem to be interested in gaming and videos. why the vehicle of a book to get interested in the story you want to tell? >> i think that a book has the ability to reach children on different levels than games do. it is a lot more in-depth, and a random-access. they can go to any part of it, physically, and draw out the information. >> there are pages of the biography about the inventors. i am sure that you spend time with your coauthors to decide who would be in the book. how did people make the cut?
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>> our choices had to do with the fact that we wanted to pick people who did things that were very important to everyday life. the bread machine or food preservation order food refrigeration. the fact that nowadays you can ship food around the world because of refrigerated food transport, that was an idea that was first thought up by a black american. all of these inventions have really affected our lives. there are so many other inventions in there. look at all the lives that have been saved just because we have blood typing and the blood bank. again, very important for all of our lives. and most people don't understand that that was a black american and they were crucial in figuring these things out. >> including super soaker, the big squirt gun. >> some of these kids play with
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it, and they are not aware of who invented it. this is such an important aspect for it telecommunication. three d. is such an important aspect of telecommunication. >> programs here are interactive, see you can call up kareem abdul-jabbar about his book. this is his seventh book. the first one was back in 1983. he's been writing for 30 years. we welcome your questions about his writing and about his projects and what life is an author is like light in addition to his accomplishments in life. we will put the phone numbers at the bottom of the screen. we can also take your tweets and e-mails. look through the list, and there was only one woman. why is that?
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>> we picked her because what she did was so significant. there are other women inventors, of course, but she made a significant invention that has been widely used. it is the most practical for one, for us to use. >> the concept of this book, by the kids and the people african-american? are you targeting and african-american audience. >> i wasn't targeting african-americans alone, but i thought since all of these people came from the african-american community, i would focus on that. it is crucial that we reach minority kids. so many minority kids today, if you ask them who they wanted to be, they would name you are an
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athlete or an entertainer. they only see themselves as being able to succeed in those two realms. athletes, athletics, and entertainment. there is such a wide variety of things that young people can do today to make a significant contribution to american life and to earn a great living and be recognized as doing something meaningful. >> you spend a lot of time talking to kids about this message, especially african-american kids. there are many other avenues besides entertainment and sports. forgive me, it sounds ironic coming from someone with a claim to fame on sports. have you got a message to the young people? >> it doesn't last forever. the crew doesn't last forever. the fact that i'm able to be an author and a public speaker has to do with what i learned in school. the fact that knowledge is power, which gives you the
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ability to do things that you want to do, that is a very vital message. i want to make sure that young people get that message. >> i want to get our viewers involved in the conversation. let's take our first call. you are on the air. welcome. caller: thank you. my question for mr. kareem abdul-jabbar, first of all, it is an honor. my question is how do you feel about more african-americans being in the nba, my second question is would you ever want to be the head coach for the la lakers, and my third question is could you tell me who your favorite african american athlete is? >> i guess i will handle this with the last question first. my favorite inventor is lewis
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latimer and doctor charles schultz. what they did for people was so significant all the way around the world. lewis letter, by doing alexander graham bell's application drawings, he was right there at the salvation of telecommunication and electronics. also because of what he did with illumination and these are important things all around the world. modern lights would not be able to exist without artificial lighting. i think that his invention is very important. doctor charles has saved so many lives and impacted so many lives because of the knowledge that we have through the science of blood typing. again, this is a very important contribution worldwide. i think and i hope that answers your questions. sorry don't have time to answer all three.
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>> let's move on to charlotte in south bend, indiana. >> yes, hello. what an honor it is to talk to you. i wonder if you talk about the book you wrote about the buffalo soldiers and the significance of the buffalo soldiers to american history reign. >> well, i think the industry of buffalo soldiers is important to american history because the westward experience of our nation was a key element in to us becoming a world power. we could not have done that if we had not been able to utilize all of the land that the united states is comprised of. in order to do this, it took people to go out and map the roads, telegraph lines, and explored the best places to live and everything. all of this was accompanied by
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our armed forces, the u.s. cavalry and infantry. buffalo soldiers were key elements of that effort. i think that when people find out about the efforts of the buffalo soldiers, they appreciate more about how we became a great nation, and all of this happened right after the civil war right up until the end of the 20th century. >> many of your titles, all of them are biographies. they tell stories about people. why are you attracted to people stories? >> i think that people stories are important because most people don't envision black americans doing things that everyone else does. when you see their stories, which are just like anyone else's story, you get an idea of our common humanity and understanding that these are
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fellow citizens. they are not exotic creatures. they are fellow citizens and trying to do the same things to help make this a great nation. >> your hope is obviously to influence individual young people. who is the biggest influence on you? >> i would have to say in so many ways, jackie robinson. i was a baseball fan when i was a kid. jackie robinson was also a role model in other ways. my mom always pointed out that he was very intelligent and articulate. he went to ucla. he ended up going to do ucla. >> you are on the campus of usc. >> we won't get excited about that. so much of what he did with his life was an example. after his sports career, he became a businessman. a very successful businessman. he pointed out things and with regard to economics that black americans needed to know about. he was very -- very much a wall
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model and mentor in many of the aspects of his life. >> that's call from our viewing audience is lisa in nashville. caller: thank you for taking my call. i love c-span 2 and "book tv." mr. kareem abdul-jabbar, it is such an honor to talk you into here about the book you have written. i knew you were an author, but i did not realize how many books you have written. what was the title of your first book and how do you decide on the subjects of iraq's? >> the title of my first book was a giant steps. it is my biography. i'm a pretty tall person, i take long steps. that's how i got the title of my book. but i choose my subject matter with regards to how to impact people and explain things about american life that a lot of people are not really aware of.
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>> raymond is your partner on books. how does your partnership were? >> bremen and i worked together in great ways. -- we sit down and work together and defined areas that we want to touch on. i will give him notes, and he will write some of the things that i want to say. if he has captured my voice on it, then we go back and forth. i rewrite things to give him things to edit and vice versa. >> is writing easy for you or is it a real labor? >> writing is a labor for everybody. you have to really have a real set purpose to be a writer. the longer i do it, the easier it gets. >> next question for you is from jane and calabasas, california.
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i'm sorry, first jane in new york city. >> that afternoon. i appreciate you. you raised the question of of only one woman being in the book. you did not answer that question and i would like to revisit it. my concern is that there is only one woman. there are several women inventors. why out of all african american inventors fair, white is there only one -- why is there only one -- and all only one -- and all the ones we did during black history month, okay, joy, thanks. >> the ones that we were able to work fine, -- the ones we were
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able to find, of course, there could be a book on women inventors. all the other ones we thought were significant and we didn't want to exclude women. so we made sure that we had our women's invention. the woman whose future. >> you are also very involved in education, which is a big effort to get science technology and math and engineering and the like. is this in concert without ever? >> yes, i think that is a fact that all the people that are heroes in this book, they are mathematicians and engineers and, a chemist and other people involved in science. it really is a key issue in what is talked about with regard to
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education. so many young people don't understand that those subjects are the ones that will be the key for us having a job in the 21st century. it will be very technologically oriented with regard to the positioning for good jobs. people with good math and science backgrounds will be able to find jobs in many areas, and that is a key issue for any young people who are thinking about going to college and trying to pursue higher education and. >> it is time for jane now in calabasas. >> did you attend a catholic high school in new york city? >> yes, i did. i attended an academy. it is closed now, but i graduated in 1965. >> are you so they're?
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>> didn't have an influence on you? >> i was wondering why the question. >> my high school definitely had an influence on me. it helped me understand what the fundamentals are and foundations of education. i know a lot of my friends went to school where they could take shop and stuff like that. you could not do it at my school. everything was academically oriented. >> julie in birmingham, alabama. probably the last. caller: hello? >> yes, go ahead, please. to . caller: julie, are you there? to yes, i am there be not. caller: i think that your book is a wonderful thing. it is a great idea. the reasons behind it are very
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important, and i just wanted to say thank you for writing the book. >> thank you very much. i hope you enjoy it, and i hope you get a chance to talk to your friends and let them know that there are some great types of information in here for young people and what the deal with. >> that was a nice way to end our segment with kareem abdul-jabbar. or is the book. "what color is my world: the lost history of african-american inventors." as we closer, you just accepted a request from secretary clinton to be an ambassador, cultural ambassador. he just started that. what is the job going to be? >> the job entails me going and speaking to people, selects -- select groups in young countries and emphasizing the value of education and giving them an insight into what life in america is all about. >> have you done any chance you? >> i have done a trip to brazil. it went very well. i had a great time.
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i had great interactions with the people that i met with. >> thank you for interacting with the c-span aud he might carry some look at the upcoming look fairs and festivals the country:
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>> next come a few interviews from the tedious college series. first, stephen frantzich was interviewed about his book called "o.o.p.s.," which assesses the impact on their campaigns. this interview was recorded at the u.s. naval academy. >> host: "o.o.p.s." is the name of the book. stephen frantzich it was that the u.s. naval academy is the author. dr. frantzich, what the "o.o.p."
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